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Q and A

Questions and Answers:

We are here to help you. Check out Why we are here and what we have to offer.

If you have a question you just can't find an answer to, feel free to contact us.

Getting Started  :   Confidential and Secure  :   Plans, options & pricing  :   Historical Reports  :   CompetitorEye's CE Tool  :   Why was I contacted?  :   Competing with/on: Amazon, Buy.com, Cnet.com, PriceGrabber.com  :   What is the Buy Box?  :   Optimized Pricing / Repricing  :   Scanazon.com  :   What is "In the Works"?  :   About Us



Getting Started:

CompetitorEye specializes in providing current market intelligence. We monitor your products and record the exact selling price, shipping price and stock availability for the Buy Box owner, top 3 featured merchants and up to 16 "second page" merchants selling the item; the top 20 sellers. We compile the data into a raw data report for you and either FTP and/or email the report to you up to 4 times a day.

CompetitorEye has a host of additional tools and reporting online and ready for your use. From researching other competitors or products to analyzing alternate ASINS to viewing what's hot or not to product price trending over time.

We offer multiple accounts to fit your needs, everything from our Basic plan which is a pay-as-you-go plan with no monthly charges for merchants with very few products or infrequent reporting needs, to our extended and premium monthly plans.

No long term contracts, and we offer a free 5 day trial at no cost to you.

To begin:
  • Create an account or if given a login and password, simply sign-in. Include your contact and basic company information.

  • After login, and account save, you will be directed to your dashboard. It is recommended that you synchronize your current online, instock or FBA Amazon listings so CompetitorEye knows which products to monitor for you. This can be done by clicking "Item management" on the top of the screen, then clicking "Storefront Synchronization". It will only take a moment, or you may directly feed to us which items to monitor using our "Manual Submission".

  • After import or synchronization, click the link to return to the dashboard. You will now want to set your monitoring schedules. This can be done by clicking "Preferences and settings" then "Schedule Reports".

    Once our system knows the items to monitor and when to monitor, your off and running and expect your reports to arrive when compete.

    Please note: Evaluation reports will not send until all non-evaluation accounts have received their reports. This usually occurs at the very end of the time block selected.
Once you receive your reports, you will be given a brief summary of your pricing and placement in comparison to your competition as well as the raw data attached for your own internal analysis. To segment the report using our online tools, simply click the "View Report" link from your report email or proceed to "Report Management", then "Reports & History" and select the desired report for review.

Thats it! All the other tools and functionality can be reviewed after you start receiving your reports!

It really is as easy as 1,2,3.

Confidential and Secure:

Question: Is my account information secure?
Answer: YES! We utilize Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology which encrypts the data transferred from your computer to our system and visa-versa whenever sensitive information is accessed.

Question: Is my account information shared with other clients?
Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT! Each client's membership, plan, ASIN relationships, report schedules, use or history is never shared with any other client or third party. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.


Plans, options and pricing:

Question: What types of plans do we offer?
Answer: After your 100% free evaluation of our services, if you wish to continue with monitoring, our pricing is based on your needs and can be calculated on our Plans & Options page. We offer plans from our Basic plan which is a pay-as-you-go plan for merchants with very few products or infrequent reporting, to high volume plans.

Our monthly plan pricing is based on the total monthly monitoring calculated by amount of products to monitor, times per day, days per week and the plan you chose. Giving you full control of the cost. Our Extended monthly plan for example, is $23 / M for 28,000 ASIN reports. (1000 products x 1 time a day x 7 days a week) whereas our Basic, pay-as-you-go plan, for example for 70 products monitored once a week would be 70 cents per report or $2.80 a month.

All reports include Buy Box owner, top 3 featured merchants and top 16 "second page" sellers actual selling price even if hidden, sellers shipping price for the item, and stock availability, our Premium plan option also includes columns of data such as UPC/EAN, Sales Rank, your specific selling price and shipping.

  • Merchant Account Plans:
    • Basic Merchant: No monthly fee (Pay-As-You-Go) Designed for smaller entities with very few products or very infrequent reporting. You have complete control over the amount of products to report on and the reports per day (0 to 4) as well as the days per week (0 to 7). Giving you the ultimate in control over your budget. Only $.01 USD per product per report.
    • Extended Merchant: Designed for entities with many products and/or multiple daily scans. Lock-in terms and discounts available. Minimum of $23 USD.
    • Premium Merchant: Everything our extended plan offers plus near real-time database IO, optimized pricing (reprice suggestion with or without automated Amazon update), automated storefront synchronization as well as additional reporting. Lock-in terms and discounts available. Minimum of $33 USD.

    Service fee is determined by your choice of maximum items, scan frequency and days per week. Which can be configured on the fly to determine your monthly cost.

  • Distributor Account Plans:
    • Distributor: The perfect solution for distributors or those seeking a basic one time report of their products. Receive a single report for a specific ASIN or UPC. The perfect solution for benchmarking manufactures items to help judge the current market conditions. Distributor reports include current Sales Rank, UPC, Buy Box owner with selling price and shipping. Lock-in terms and discounts available. Minimum of $50 USD.
Additional tools and services available.

Question: Do you offer customized plans?
Answer: Yes we do. If our pre-defined plans do not fit into your campaign, please contact us with details so we can devise a plan and pricing structure specifically tailored to meet your needs.


Historical Reports:

Question: How do I view historical reports on my items?
Answer: On the Reports page, you will be prompted to search for a specific item by its item number, Sku or ASIN. Or click an entire existing report to view its full content including Buy Box owner, price, shipping, delivered price, stock availability as well as featured position sellers for each product. Bonus: When available, pricing and shipping for the top 16 secondary page sellers as well. Only your Active items will be considered for trending.

Question: Why is there a charge in my feeds display?
Answer: Depending on your plan, the charge is: (the amount of products reported on during your report interval * your plan rate). Reports outside of your range are not billed. If you have the Extended plan, no charge will be displayed.

Question: How do I know when to raise or lower my prices?
Answer: Depending on your configuration, all raw data can be emailed or FTP'd to you for your own analysis. CompetitorEye does offer some very useful reporting which will disclose to you:

  • Items in which you are the Buy Box owner.
  • Items you can typically raise your price to maximize profits and still retain the Buy Box.
  • Items in which you a featured merchant.
  • Items in which if you slightly decrease your price, potential Buy Box ownership can easily be achieved.
  • Items in which your current pricing strategy prohibits Buy Box ownership or even being listed as a featured merchant.
  • Items you are within the top 20 merchants.
To utilize these filters, select a specific report and filter.

CE Tool:

Question: How do I use this tool?
Answer: CompetitorEye's CE Tool is a very complex reporting tool and can be used hundreds of differing ways to produce the reports you feel are most relevant to your business model. Please see our CE Tool Help page.

Question: Why are there duplicate names in my competitor list?
Answer: We show you each unique merchant name, some of your competitors have multiple "store-fronts", some have slightly changed their name over time. For example "Amazon" and "Amazon.com". We display all variations for you.

Question: Is my information secure and are you sharing it with others that use the CE Tool?
Answer: Your information, report schedules, or even that you are using CompetitorEye will never be shared with any other CompetitorEye customer. The CE Tool processes its information from our evolving database of products and publicly identified merchants that are selling those products, not from any information you provided to us.

Question: How does CE Tool determine who my core competitors are?
Answer: During the analysis of your active product catalog we cross reference your products with those we are monitoring. As new retailers begin to sell your products they will automatically be listed as your competitor.

Question: Why are some merchant names being displayed as product manufacturers?
Answer: This usually occurs when a merchant defines their products on Amazon, and errantly places their merchant name in the manufacturer's field. Some merchants have been known to purposely do this in the hopes of stimulating interest in their brand. Unfortunately this can have the opposite effect and drives potential customers away by not allowing them to easily search for items by its manufacture.


Contacted for evaluation?

Question: Why did I receive an email inviting me here?
Answer: It's a one-time-deal. We will not contact the same merchant twice, therefore you need to do nothing if not interested or do not want to receive another invite.

However, there is no charge during the evaluation and we do not require a deposit, credit card or commitment of any kind.

If you would like to suggest a free evaluation candidate, simply enter the organization's name in our comment area. Your email address, name or any other information provided will be kept in the strictest of confidence and never shared with anyone.


Competing with/on Amazon:

Question: How does all this benefit me?
Answer: In the simplest of terms, unless you own the "Buy Box" on Amazon, your competition (whoever does own the "Buy Box") will most likely receive the default sale instead of you when a consumer clicks the "Add to cart" button. Depending on your strategy and expectations, this may not always be a bad thing. "Let the other guys blow out their inventory" is often heard while you wait for the price to go back up to a profit margin you can compete with. Most importantly, with the proper implementation, it allows you to make the proper informed decisions on your own pricing based on what your competition is doing at the moment.

Question: Why can't I get this information directly from Amazon?
Answer: Even though Amazon allows reseller's to post products on their site and offers some great tools and reports, in most cases Amazon is also selling the identical product and competing for the "Buy Box" themselves, and therefore Amazon can actually be one of your competitors. For this reason Amazon typically does not disclose much useful information to merchants concerning Buy Box, formulas used and requirements related to obtaining it. Amazon has full control over which merchant receives the Buy Box Yet with our pricing and placement reporting, obtaining and keeping the Buy Box or featured merchant status suddenly becomes much easier. We can alert you when you fall from your preferred placement.

Question: So, what is this "Buy Box", "Secondary", "Featured" stuff?
Answer: Amazon sells products; products stocked in their own warehouses, products drop shipped from distributors, and most importantly products from other merchants. Many times merchants sell the same products as other merchants. Amazon has devised a method of competition between the merchants and sometimes Amazon itself concerning which merchant fulfills the order.

In short, the "Buy Box" owner or merchant receives the default sale when the user places the item to their cart, prominently the main "Add to cart" button. Below this button are three "featured" or "lineup" sellers from which the customer can specifically choose to purchase the item from. The "secondary" page is where all other sellers of the item appear, usually named "new & used" and is not part of the main product details page. Secondary page sellers are not reported on in every instance of a ASIN scan.

It is important to your organization to be that fulfiller or at least featured on the primary page! Otherwise you may be spinning your wheels. Read More...

Question: I already seem to have a majority of Buy Box win's, Isn't that good?
Answer: That depends, if the majority of your Buy Box wins are "with competition" (see reports provided) the answer is YES! ABSOLUTELY!    You may be the only merchant with the item in stock or the only merchant selling the particular product. In either case, this can be a good thing.

If however you have a very low competition ratio, this could mean your products are not properly configured on Amazon. Occasionally products are created with multiple UPC's which means multiple ASINS. You may be mapped to an alternate "duplicate" product which may not get the main stream traffic or highlight as the primary product. To be the Buy Box owner of a product nobody can find through common searching, may limit your sales.

When a consumer searches for the product, they may be directed to the other product in which your not mapped and wont show as an option for purchase or have any ability to obtain the Buy Box. Unfortunately the only way to find out is to search Amazon itself with the manufacturers SKU or MPN as a consumer would (outside your storefront) and see if the ASIN returned is the ASIN you are mapped to. If so, great! If not you may own a Buy Box very few will ever see. Keep "up-to-date" by utilizing our Alternate Asin Analysis tool which will inform you of those instances!

CompetitorEye can alert you to these discrepancies with our Sales Rank and UPC/EAN analysis included in your reports.

Question: I pop in and out of featured merchants, why?
Answer: This relates to Amazon's formula for deciding who owns the Buy Box and who is in the featured merchant area. Currently, CompetitorEye monitors the Buy Box owner / fulfiller, featured merchants and top 20 lineup and can alert you when you are not where you want to be.

Question: My report said I have the Buy Box, but I do not?
Answer: This is most likely caused by Buy Box "rotation", or "cycling".

When CompetitorEye reviewed the item, you actually did own the Buy Box at that moment. Then later (at Amazon's discretion) another merchant cycled into the buybox. This can typically occur if both sellers have relatively the same price and feedback rating.

Cycling the Buy Box can last for a certain amount of time, clicks or views before the next cycle.Many times you can refresh the Amazon product detail page every 15 or 20 seconds and within a minute see the cycle occur yourself. (As long as your browser isn't simply re-displaying a cached version of the page)

This does not mean the report was in error. CompetitorEye reports are of a single instant in time, we cannot control what happens with the product, momets or hours later. We offer a special Win/Loss report which can help determine what products are cycling, to help break away from rotation, it is recommended to increase the price difference between you and your competition.

Question: How to I compete with Amazon itself?
Answer: Although Amazon's method of determining the Buy Box "owner" at any given moment is not fully published, the following factors should be considered which may greatly increase the opportunity for your organization to appear in the Buy Box or at least be featured:

  • Your overall merchant rating having more positive than negative surveys.
  • Active back order or cancel counts.
  • Your available inventory.
  • Your delivered price including shipping.

In many cases if your delivered price beats Amazon's price (if Amazon owns the Buy Box) by a certain percentage you will most likely own it.
If it's not Amazon but a competing merchant, usually only by a penny.

Its knowing when and where to adjust and most importantly when to adjust UP (raise your price) that makes all the difference.
AAs a merchant without a service such as ours, it can be a constant battle to win the Buy Box or to compete at all without spending valuable time continually researching and reviewing your products listed on Amazon. Similar to the logic and reporting we provide, Amazon already has in place and can automatically adjust their prices based on your prices and their own margin floor. Our service evens the playing field and gives you the opportunity to own the Buy Box as well, in many cases by only making minor pricing adjustments in shipping price or item price, with our service was can pin-point exactly what those items are saving you time and effort.


Optimized Pricing:

Question: What is it? Repricing?
Answer: With CompetitorEye's Optimized Pricing Suggestion option (with or without automated Amazon update known as repricing), we offer a service UNMATCHED by any competitive intelligence provider and at an affordable price which is simply unbeatable.

Based on your floor and margin guidelines, with our optimized pricing functionality we can calculate and suggest the optimum price based on your preferences to obtain or keep the Buy Box or featured merchant placement with three levels of priority; Aggressive, Neutral and Passive.

What makes our optimized pricing different?

Staying competitive is key, but typically not at the expense of driving pricing to the bottom. Our system keeps an eye on historical pricing models per item and can base its pricing suggestion from calculated and historical data, not just the current view.

Using your priority settings we can suggest the discontinuation of an item price lowering "chase" in response to your competitor's price drops. Based on your preferences and our data CompetitorEye's engine has the ability to suggest when to back off from a "pricing war" and can calculate when to actually increase your pricing to maximize profitability. A great time saving feature included in your premium feeds and reports.

For more information please see: Optimized pricing Defaults and Optimized Pricing Specifications


Scanazon and CompetitorEye:

Question: Where did Scanazon.com go?
Answer: It was always our intention to expand our services to other portals. Scanazon.com was originally intended for Amazon intelligence. As our services have expanded, we have incorporated Scanazon.com's functionality into CompetitorEye.com.


Competing with/on Buy.com, Cnet.com, PriceGrabber.com, Google.com (Froogle):

All these additional reports available soon.

New GSA CompetitorEye now available!

In The Works:

Amazon regions: France, Germany, India
Engines: Buy.com, Google, PriceGrabber, Cnet, eBay

If you would like to suggest other engines to monitor, please let us know.


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